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A Naked Sept - Theory and Painful Progress

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by Dezrok, Apr 16, 2017.

  1. Dezrok

    Dezrok Diabloii.Net Member

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    Everyone needs a project! Right?

    It started with a simple idea (like many things do). A Naked Assassin. HC untwinked single-pass. A suitable challenge to get me back into D2 after a bit of a break. In the footsteps of superdave, Insane Wayne (Amazon and Druid) and the “We love to be NAKED Tournament”. Then freshly inspired by @Cyrax and the “One Filet-o-Fish, No Bun, No Condiments” Naked Necro thread.

    Then along came @T72on1 with his support for the ridiculous idea of a Naked Sept and somehow I was hooked. At that stage I hadn’t even got a naked character into Hell.

    After two attempts with the naked assassin, that didn’t make it past NM Act 5, I decided to try a few other classes and refamiliarise myself with the game in general. And so I’ve been quietly grinding away with gearless characters for the past 6+ months, slowly relearning the game and creeping those classes into Hell. A few deaths early on, but none for a while now (which I guess means I’m learning).

    Progress Table
    Code:
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Best                                        Current
    Class        Level   Location     Build                  Level           Build
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Amazon       80      Hell Act 2   Passivezon             (see best)
    Assassin     72      NM Act 5     PS/SW                  -
    Barbarian    80      Hell Act 2   War Cry/Leap           (see best)
    Druid        84      Hell Act 3   Shock Bear/Summoner    (see best)
    Necro        78      Hell Act 1   Iron Golemancer        28               Bonemancer
    Paladin      50      NM Act 1     FoH                    -
    Sorc         55      NM Act 2     Hydra/Orb              48              GS/SF/Tele/Blizz
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2017
  2. Dezrok

    Dezrok Diabloii.Net Member

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    For this thread naked means:
    No weapons*
    No armour
    No clothing
    No jewellery
    No charms
    Potions can be drunk but not thrown
    Scrolls and tomes are fine
    Carrying items back to town is fine, just not equipping them​

    Merc has no restrictions
    GoMule as extended stash
    RWM
    Single Pass
    Full Clears*
    and generally following the standard SPF tourney rules and behaviour​

    *Exceptions*:
    1) Equipping arrows and bolts in the primary weapon slot is allowed (especially in the early game). This doesn’t affect any stats but stops the character from being able to accidentally pick up and equip a weapon, which early on can make a big difference. By late game not many weapons are dropping with low enough stat requirements to be equipped, and even if they do, it isn’t going to make much of a difference accidentally equipping a white or grey dagger.

    2) I don’t bother trying to come up with a solution to killing the River Stalkers/Water Watchers in Act 3. Great if i can, but I’m not going to swap mercs just so I can. Out of interest I found you can always punch the water beasties … even when your merc can’t reach them with his polearm!


    So, naked, what’s the big deal?

    Pretty much everything. There is no way to improve many of the important stats such as FHR, FCR and IAS. Block is going to equal zero. FRW, nope (unless you want to try Harmony on your merc).

    Resists are going to be -80 in most of Hell unless we are one of the few classes that have skills that improve resists. LE just got even scarier and random elemental damage that we usually ignore, suddenly hurts, sometimes hurts a lot. Even if we have skills that improve our resists, they are still going to be in the negatives for much of the game.

    Defense is going to be 5-6. Even with skills that can improve your defense by 100’s of percent you still aren’t going to have a defense that means anything.

    Mana and Life only improve through levels and stats progression, which means we are going to want to put as many stat points into Vitality as possible, cause we are going to need every point of life we can get. This in turn means that we are never going to have enough mana. Our mana pool will lie somewhere between 100-200pts at end game. This means we are almost always going to want our merc wielding Insight (except in very rare cases), just so we can have enough mana to do anything useful. And even then casters are going to constantly run out of mana. The only plus side of all this is that, because we can’t wear any gear, we need absolutely zero Str or Dex. They are completely useless and so there are plenty of points to go into Vitality (and as already mentioned, we will need every one of them).

    Of course, we can help restore our mana pool (and life pool) with pots. Except wearing no belt means only one row of pots, which makes chugging pots constantly not really all that feasible, unless we want to play the game with the inventory window open pretty much all the time … and that really isn’t suggested as a method to aid survivability.

    No +skills. Suddenly many of those 1pt wonders aren’t so wonderful any more, unless we prop them up with a few more hard points. Then there are other spells that aren’t quite as effective, even when maxed.

    MF and GF are going to equal zero, except for what we can put on our merc AND then we have to get our merc to make the kill (summons can make this very difficult). But, if we can’t equip gear, why would we want MF anyway? Because our merc can equip gear and they are going to need every bit of help they can get. However, from my limited sample size, there isn’t actually much difference in the strength of our merc on entering Hell if most kills are done at 100%-200%MF, or are at 0%MF, but still, every bit helps.

    So, who do we want for our merc? As already mentioned we almost always want an Act 2 merc so they can wield Insight. I generally prefer a Prayer merc in the early stages, to keep that red bulb full while you are still going toe-to-toe with the mobs. However, once the Might merc becomes available I almost always make the switch because your merc (and summons) generally need every bit of help they can get doing enough damage to kill things.

    Merc gear is pretty simple.

    Weapon: Insight in the best 4os polearm we can find and keep making new ones as better bases come along. This doesn’t happen as often as we hope and many characters were well into Hell with an Insight Partizan. We need Insight for the Meditation aura, so that our mana regen is fast enough to cast the spells we have, and the MF certainly doesn’t hurt. However, Insight isn’t great against Act Bosses and is even worse against PIs, so we will want some alternatives. For Act Bosses CB, OW and Slow are great mods. I go with Malice (for the OW) early on, but my favourite has become Woestave, which has both OW and 50% Slow. As a normal weapon it is worth trying to gamble, but also seems to have a reasonably good chance to drop at some point. Sure there are better weapons out there, but an upped Woestave is reasonably achievable. For PIs we are after Amp Damage or OW, and Woestave fits the bill once again (or Malice). OW is just easier to get hold of then Amp. It is possible to shop a polearm with Amp Damage with a bit of patience, but to be honest, I don’t play D2 to go shopping.

    Body Armor: For Normal and NM I go with PTopazes in the most sockets I can get, but ultimately we are aiming for Treachery. End of story. The Lem rune can however be a bit tricky sometimes and so there is no guarantee of getting it by Hell.

    Helm: Here there are the most options. Early on I go with PTopazes, but for endgame there is no clear winner. I spend most of my money gambling helms (including circlets and coronets) in the hope of getting something better than useful (or just something useful). I’ll also usually have a 2nd helm in the stash for dealing with PIs, - one with lots of elemental damage can make a big difference.

    Gambling
    Other than merc resurrections, there isn’t a lot to do with gold, so plenty to spend on gambling merc gear. Body armour is expensive to gamble and we are ultimately after a runeword here, so we’ll pass on gambling this. Our main merc weapon is also likely to be a runeword, but if we can gamble something with Slow that would be pretty handy against Act Bosses - Woestave (Halberd ilvl=38), Kelpie Snare (Trident ilvl=41) and Razortine (Trident ilvl=16) fit the bill.

    However, most of our gold goes to gambling headgear. Circlets and Coronets get snapped up whenever they appear, with MF and elemental damage being favoured mods. Otherwise, Skull Caps are ilvl=20 (Tarnhelm) and ilvl=31 (Rockstopper). Helms are ilvl=35 (Stealskull), Full Helm ilvl=38 (Darksight) and then Masks (Blackhorn’s), Bone Helms (Vamp Gaze) and Great Helms (Guillaume’s) all are ilvl=41. Crown of Thieves becomes available at ilvl=49.
     
  3. Dezrok

    Dezrok Diabloii.Net Member

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    A quick look at the skills and some build options for each class. In general I try to play a different build every attempt. Mostly to avoid boredom, but also just to try out different skills and see how they work under less than ideal circumstances.Initially I thought that having a source of damage to help the merc kill things would be important. Offense can help, but defensive skills are way more important and crowd control seems to own everything else.

    Minions are great, but their kills are going to be at 0%MF, so if I can, I try to avoid using them until Hell, or use them in sticky situations and for Act Bosses and then unsummon them before the killing stroke.

    Amazon
    The classic naked character of Insane Wayne and superdave fame. No use putting points in the Bows/Xbows or the Spears/Javelins skill trees, so everything goes in Passives. Max Valk and Decoy and the rest spread around as you wish. I’ve never put so many points in D/A/E before. The class with the least build options.

    Assassin
    Trapper is the obvious choice, with LS/DS for maximum carnage, but CBS and FB both being handy supporting skills. From the other Trap strands the Blade skills are all pretty useless when you have no weapon, but the Fire traps might be worth a try.

    There is no way we want to be meleeing as a naked char, so the Martial Arts tree isn’t looking great (and we can’t wield claws for those claw only skills) … except, I did have fun with Phoenix Strike and a Shadow Warrior, fully remote control the skill. This also meant I didn’t need to worry about mana, so could use a non-Act 2 merc (or an Act 2 merc without Insight).

    From the Shadow skills tree, I’m giving a max Mind Blast build a go. 5.8 seconds of stun time sounds pretty good and while the convert might be annoying at times, I’m generally killing things too slowly for it to matter and it is great for isolating bosses.

    CoS, MB and a Shadow Warrior/Master are almost always going to be useful support skills to have regardless of the build, while Fade gives us a much appreciated way to improve our resists.

    Barbarian
    No weapon and a strong desire not to melee take out many of the Barb skills, especially the Combat Skills and Combat Mastery trees. However it isn’t all bad, with Natural Resist giving a big boost to resists and BO not only giving us a huge life pool, but also converting the Barbs very poor mana pool, into something quite acceptable. War Cry stuns everything for 5 secs and Leap will let you knockback anything that can’t be stunned (except Act Bosses). Just don’t try Leap on LE bosses! Battle Cry, Howl and Taunt are way more than useful.

    Note: I did want to fully synergise War Cry and have an option for dealing damage, but no +skills, no fcr and insufficient mana to be able to spam it put paid to that idea.

    Druid
    No way to improve resists but Cyclone Armor gives some protection against the elements and the big boost to life from being a Werebear is even better. More than one point in Werebear wont do much for you, but points in Lycanthropy will give you a huge life pool. Werebears also have Shockwave for some ultimate crowd control.

    However, we probably don’t want to base our build around the Shape-shifting tree as there is too much melee involved, and so will be looking to the Summoning or Elemental trees to sink most of our points.

    Ravens suddenly become very useful for blinding ranged attackers (20 pts), while Dire Wolf and Grizzly are going to soak up a lot of punishment (and deal some damage) - the fact that they meaningfully synergise each other is icing on the cake.

    In the Elements, I’d probably lean towards Windy over Fire for better crowd control.

    Necromancer
    So many possibilities here. I like Iron Golemancer, just because it gives you something to do with all the items you find but can’t use. Fishy is a classic choice, while Mojomancer and Bonemancer should also be interesting.

    Clay Golem gives you a source of Slow, as does Decrepify. Amp Damage will break all but a few of those pesky PIs. Dim Vision and Attract are two of my favourite crowd control skills and Corpse Explosion is hard to pass by for any build.

    Paladin
    No crowd control and no summons, in my mind makes this the toughest naked class. Take out the melee skills (because who wants to be meleeing naked?) and this is going to be a struggle. FoH, Hammerdin or maybe a build focussed on defensive auras. Regardless of the build, it is going to be hard to beat Salvation as the active aura, for that much needed boost to resists.

    Sorceress
    So many choices for sorc that it is embarrassing. Cold spells give some much needed crowd control, with Glacial Spike probably being my favourite. Static Field can quickly cut the monsters’ life down to a manageable level and teleport gives great manoeuvrability. Otherwise, take your pick for how you want to kill things but remember no +skills, no +mana and no fcr are going to make life much tougher than normal.

    Warmth is probably worth 1pt to help with mana regen before you get an Insight, but I’m not sure it is worth more than that. Insight makes Warmth rather redundant.

    The normally troublesome PIs are unlikely to be much of a problem for any sorc build though, which makes a very pleasant change.
     
  4. Brak

    Brak Diabloii.Net Member

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    Awesome to see your update on this!

    I haven't had solid playing time to get to my barb (naked full clears are so slow) so he's in mid Act I still. If I ever get there, I think Ancients are going to be near impossible. But I'll just be happy if I ever get there in the next year or two to be honest.
     
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  5. T72on1

    T72on1 Diabloii.Net Member

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    This is epic !!! Good luck :). I think you already did a great job getting as far as you did.

    I'll be reading this with great interest.
     
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  6. Codoh

    Codoh Diabloii.Net Member

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    Sounds like pure masochism to me.:confused:
     
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  7. ThomasJohnsen

    ThomasJohnsen Diabloii.Net Member

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    This comment got me thinking about an old joke:
    The masochist says to the sadist: "Hit me; hit me now!".
    The sadist looks at him and says: "Nope!".
     
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  8. Brak

    Brak Diabloii.Net Member

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    Regarding gambles, I've mostly been aiming for good leech helms. So Bone Helms, Crowns and circlet types since both Normal and Exceptional bone helms/crowns give life steel sometimes with other nice mods. But I've only hit on one Circlet with life leech so far. I also was gambling for Gothic Plates until a Rattle Cage dropped, and will still gamble Spetums in the hopes of getting a Hone Sundan.

    Have you run into any issues in Act II playing the Barb against Physical Immunes? I was considering Swapping to an Act V merc as I've got an extra Lem I could use for Lawbringer. Right now I just use Toothrow and Leap, they eventually die. Only issue is random LE/PI bosses, but then I just feed pots and stay out of the bolt paths. Its mostly a battle of attrition with the barb.
     
  9. Dezrok

    Dezrok Diabloii.Net Member

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    On gambling, I thought leech would be a key stat for me to be looking for on helms but it hasn’t really turned out that way. I don’t think any of my toons have leech on their merc at the moment. If I get a decent helm with leech that will be great, but it is not the only thing I am looking for in the helm slot (and am going for MF over leech on the barb at the moment, he has a pretty decent leech/all res coronet in the GoMule stash if I decide I need it). Also, my barb merc probably doesn’t get hit enough for leech to be particularly useful, War Cry has been that good. If you really want leech, then crafting some Blood Helms might be worth doing?

    As for Act II PIs, my barb has only just entered Act II and is sitting in Lut Gholein waiting to start, so no, no problems in Act II yet. However, he didn’t really have problems in Act I and I don’t expect that to change in Act II. My druid, who plays very similar to the barb just swapping Shockwave for War Cry, has just completed Act II and didn’t find PIs too much of a problem. Areas with a lot of PIs were slower than areas without PIs, but generally not dangerous. The barb is going at p5 and the druid at p3.

    LE/PIs are dangerous and some have proven very difficult to kill. So far we have managed to defeat them through killing everything else in the area and then sheer persistence. Getting the merc positioned properly, so he doesn’t get hit by the bolts, is pretty necessary.

    As for changing mercs, generally I like the mana regen from Insight too much to seriously consider an Act 5 merc, although I do keep thinking about it. Even though my barb isn’t a heavy mana-use build (one War Cry every 5 seconds is about all I do), the Insight allows me to spam War Cry to stun a boss/champ if I need to and still recover mana without having to rely on pots. A pot habit just feels too risky to me with so few held in the belt, and I can keep the few blue pots that I do carry for situations where I really need them.

    The barb’s normal gear set-up for his Might merc is an eth Bill “Insight”, “Treachery” Mage Plate and a 3xPTopaz Mask of Remedy. Pretty underwhelming. This isn’t fast, it is however effective. With War Cry stunning everything within melee range and BO/Insight meaning that as we regenerate more than 30 mana (the cost of War Cry) per 5 seconds (the duration of War Cry stun), we can lock things down and afford to take our time. If a boss or champ pack are particularly nasty we can use Howl to clear the area and isolate them.

    For PIs there is a “Malice” Partizan in the stash and a circlet with 1-119 lightning damage (which obviously doesn’t help against LI/PIs). Swapping out the “Insight” means that we lose the mana regen, but there usually aren’t too many PIs and so a couple of blue pots is often enough. If not, then I can swap the Insight back onto the merc to quickly regenerate, or pick up some pots from the ground (usually there are plenty around because I don’t need them in general play), or else tp back to town to buy more. Once again, this isn’t fast but it does work and it is safe.

    My druid has an upped Woestave instead of the Malice and a tri-elemental damage circlet, but the principle is the same and it has been just as effective.

    So far I’m very happy with OW as a PI solution. If I ever go with an Act 5 merc and Lawbringer it is likely to be for the crowd control on a low mana use build, rather than primarily as a PI solution. Something like a defensive aura paladin perhaps?

    As an aside, in the barb’s GoMule stash there are some pretty nice items that just aren’t better than the above gear for general play. NM Shenk dropped Vampire Gaze which would be awesome on any non-barb merc, but the cold damage causes too many corpses to shatter and I’m going for maximum horkage. We also had a Lo rune drop in the Jail. So we made Fortitude in a Great Hauberk but our PI kill times got worse so we went back to Treachery. This was probably the most frustrating thing so far. There is also an upped Rattlecage which got some use against Act Bosses and a Hone Sundan (2xShael, 1x Amn) which still gets used against Act Bosses. The CB is nice, but most of my other toons don’t have any source of CB and are are doing fine.
     
  10. Brak

    Brak Diabloii.Net Member

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    For the Barb merc, I'm mostly thinking about Act Boss and Ancient fights. As you mentioned the rest is quite safe unless some bad combination spawns with LE, especially LE/CE. I've only had that happen to me once to the point of being in any danger. For general questing I'm still running with 3 PTopaz Great Helm and 4 PTopaz ebugged full plate mail, and swap to Toothrow for PIs. I did choose Leap over WarCry for the bigger radius and fewer skill points. The knockback can be helpful and hurtful, so I think that is a matter of preference. Also Leap is a little easier to run without Insight, but not much as duration is generally shorter.

    I guess Lawbringer wouldnt be that amazing against Swarms anyway, just the Ghosts.

    Congrats on the great finds! Vamp Gaze, Rattlecage, Hone Sundan is basically what I've been after since the beginning for Act Bosses, but I've only managed the Rattlecage. Think I might be able to make an Obedience instead if I luck into a 5OS Elite polearm. I was fortunate enough to find a Cryptic Axe base for my Insight though. Might be a rune short though.
     
  11. Dezrok

    Dezrok Diabloii.Net Member

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    I have something like 12pts in Battle Cry which makes a big difference against Bosses, Champs and The Ancients. -36% damage and -72% defence.
     
  12. Brak

    Brak Diabloii.Net Member

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    Yeah I've already maxed it. With Battle Command it does -90% Defense and -45% damage
     
  13. Grape

    Grape Diabloii.Net Member

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    This is epic indeed!

    Finishing even one would be a major achievement in itself. Best of luck!
     
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  14. GooberGrape

    GooberGrape Diabloii.Net Member

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    I was with you right up until those two little letters: HC. That's Sparta level madness. Best of luck mate.
     
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  15. Dezrok

    Dezrok Diabloii.Net Member

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    I've just been playing the Assassin through NM, so no spectacularly exciting update. Just finished the Arreat Plateau and ready to head into the Caverns to rescue Anya. At level 69.

    The Assassin has been a really nice skill progression so far. Up to level 30 it was 1pt in desired skills and prereqs with everything else dumped into Fire Blast to get it to level 18. From level 30 to 49 was points into Shadow Master, with the reward points into Fade. Maxing SM just before taking on Normal Baal, a level 20 SM demolishes the tentacled one. Through NM we didn't use the Shadow Master in general play because he was much better at killing things than the merc (still is) and I wanted the merc to get the kills with his MF. However, knowing the SM is in reserve for when things get tough and to knock chunks off Act Bosses is really nice. It will also be very nice in Hell. Once we hit NM then we threw a couple more points in Fade to keep our resists in the positive and then maxed Mind Blast, maxing it in Act 4. Watching the stun length gradually lengthen is very satisfying (and useful) and the conversion comes in pretty handy too. Now points are going into Fade to get it to level 11, the point where further points only increase resists by 1%. From then on it will be points into Death Sentry which will be more effective when we drop the players setting in Hell.
     
  16. Dezrok

    Dezrok Diabloii.Net Member

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    Since my last update i’ve managed to deed another Assassin in Act 5 NM. That is my third Assassin to deed there. I think I have an Assassin problem, which is strange because I was expecting them to be one of the easier classes. This time it was beetle lighting bolts in one of the Halls that did for me.

    So, I then started another Necro, this time a bonemancer. 20 points will go into each of Bone Wall, Bone Prison and and Bone Armour, plus Corpse Explosion. The idea will be to lock the screen down with bones, let the merc get the first kill and then blow everything up with CE (I’ll try to avoid using CE until reaching Hell though). 1pt wonder curses are Amp, Decrep, DV and Attract (plus their prereqs) and then I’ve already put 6 pts into Clay Golem and Summon Resist to give a durable tank and some extra slowing for bosses.

    Boner (the necro) progressed pretty smoothly through Act 1. We had all 5 chipped topazes for the merc’s armour by Tristram and then a Gull dagger dropped in the Black Marsh, but of course we can’t use it. Countess dropped a Tal, which ended up in a 3os Hunter’s Bow along with a cSapphire and cRuby. Makes a pretty powerful bow for Act 1 and with the CG tanking all was good, including Andy.

    I started Act 2, clearing the Sewers and killing Radamant, reaching level 21 in the process. At that point I decided to switch to one of my Hell characters because grinding naked characters through the low levels can get a bit dull.

    So, the Amazon (Major) entered Hell Blood Moor at level 75, with an eth partizan Insight, 4xPTopaz gothic plate and 3xPTopaz Gt Helm. Stashed is an upped Woestave for PIs. All skill points are in the Passive tree, with 20pts Decoy and Valk, 9 pts each D/A/E and 11 pts CS. All future skill points are intended for Penetrate, not that the Valk misses very much. We are rolling along at p5 for now.

    The Amazon didn’t have a lot of luck with finding usable S/Us through Normal and NM, probably Rockstopper is the only item worth considering (which is nice enough really). We did however have good luck with runes, finding 2x Lem along with everything below. So when I find decent bases I can make Treachery and Obedience. With that 2nd Lem I’ve even been thinking about Lawbringer and switching to an Act 5 merc. I have a nice 3os Highland Blade I could use… I could even go with an Act 1 merc and a Harmony bow? In general play the Amazon doesn’t use much mana at all and so we don’t really need Insight, however, when things get tough we end up casting and recasting Decoy and Valk over and over again, and the mana regen from Insight becomes rather critical. Still, it is very tempting to use a different merc … not just yet though.

    We rolled through the Moor and the Den of Evil, now using the Valkyrie all the time, hoping for some nice bases or elite uniques. No luck though. At the thought of all the carver shaman on the Cold Plains and how long these would take to kill with a Passivezon I became a bit demoralised and so downloaded the free Stargate and have been working my way through the campaigns. However real time strategies aren’t really my thing and so after a bit of a break I decided to get back into D2.

    The carver shaman on the Cold Plains weren’t as much of a problem as I feared. Blood Raven was however and it took a lot of time to get her killed. On her death we hit level 76. I always like the Mausoleum and The Crypt for an early opportunity for some really high level items. The Crypt coughed up a Kelpie Snare (not particularly high level but almost always appreciated) and then an eth Hellforge Plate and a white Colossus Sword. At the end of the session I used the cube to socket both of them and got 5 sockets on the sword and 3 sockets on the plate. The 3 sockets was exactly what I was after and so put the runes for Treachery in. However, when I tried to equip it on my merc I discovered I need another 11 strength points first. Bugger, that wont happen until Act 2 (5 more levels). I have a couple of circlets with enough +str (Naj’s would do it even) but that would lose me both my MF armour and helm.

    For now I’m going to put the Rockstopper in the stash along with the Woestave and leave the Treachery in GoMule. Hopefully some alternative bases or S/Us will drop soon because gothic plate doesn’t do much in Hell.
     
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  17. Brak

    Brak Diabloii.Net Member

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    Awesome progress on the Zon. Sorry about the Sin. One would think with Death Sentry, Fade and a Summon they shouldn't be that bad.

    I have played a Passive Zon with a Barb Merc before, and I really don't think they pair together very well. He's very aggressive, and he tends to get out in front of the action. The Valk is really slow and can't help him out much. This is mostly an issue with ranged attackers because with the two of them roaming around (esp the barb) you'll wake up a lot of archers and such. You can try dropping Decoys, but with his use of the Bash skill he ends up frequently pushing the front lines further and further away. But the good thing with a passive zon is you can lose your merc and still not be in too much trouble. I only had my Valk melt once or twice during my playthrough.

    tldr: If you switch I'd recommend A1 merc over A5. And only switch if you can get some non-physical damage source on their weapon, or a way to break physical immunes via CTC Amp or Decrepify.
     
  18. Dezrok

    Dezrok Diabloii.Net Member

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    @Brak Nice thoughts on the Passivezon and Barb merc. That makes a lot of sense. When I find an elite 4os bow I'll seriously consider making Harmony and switching to an Act 1 merc instead. Harmony works nicely against PIs.

    Just played the Amazon through to Tristram today. Best drops were an eth 3os CV and a 6os PB, neither is particularly useful for the Amazon but still nice enough finds. On entering the Stony Field we found our Valk had Amp Damage, first time for this to happen. Kept the same Valk through to Tristram and it provided some help killing PI Griswold, still took a very long time though. All pretty steady and safe so far.
     
  19. Dezrok

    Dezrok Diabloii.Net Member

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    Major the Passivezon has defeated Hell Andariel and completed Act 1 on p5, reaching level 80 in the process. Took a bit longer than I was expecting but more because I didn't have a lot of game time, rather than any particular difficulties.

    A quick look first at some stats from the start of the Act: the LCS and a very empty inventory screen; the Merc and the Skill tree; Insight; Body Armour; Helm; Typical stash; the Woestave; the Circlet (which was replaced by Rockstopper later in the Act); The huge number of skills we had to choose between.

    I haven't been showing many screen shots so I'll try and fix that from now on. But generally I'm a bit focused on playing and so not taking as many shots as normal and very rarely taking them when I'm in combat as even a small distraction can be deadly.

    However, here we are battling Blood Raven's zombies. The merc couldn't go toe-to-toe with even one of these guys. Three to four hits and he was dead. On the other hand, you can see the Valkyrie is totally surrounded and not even working up a sweat (and not showing any damage). The merc was our biggest damage dealer and so game play usually involved positioning everyone so that the Valk and Decoy soaked up the damage, leaving the merc to get the kills. Sometimes this took quite a bit of running around to get right.

    The Tower wasn't a lot of fun, with plenty of PI ghosts (or maybe the challenge was lots and lots of fun?). This stair trap on level 1 gave me the heebie-jeebies. Regular ghosts with champion devilkin. The erratic movement of the devilkin meant that we were always at risk as we slowly ground the ghosts down, and for extra fun the merc would keep changing targets at the most inconvenient times. After getting pinned back against the entrance we made a dash to some clear space across the room which is where the screenie is taken.

    Level 5 of the Tower was a nightmare (hellish?)! Not quite a stair trap, but there was a double boss pack of archers and devilkin just around the corner. It wasn't long before they were just outside the entrance. This is the Archer Boss. I didn't get a shot of the devilkin boss, he was cursed/stoneskin (maybe extra strong as well?) and everything was just a little bit intense while he was around. Eventually we had to run into the main room and of course this guy was waiting for us .... Once they were all taken care of, The Countess was a breeze. She dropped a Tal ... I cried.

    This guy in the Jail was a typically nasty combo. LE on its own is bad enough with -80 resists. CE on its own is bad enough, the death nova will take off about 900 life if we get caught in it (keeping our life bulb full is pretty important). LE and CE together and then combined with PI really draws out the tension and we make very certain we aren't going to get caught in that death nova!

    From the Inner Cloister we picked up another Amp Dam Valkyrie and the run to Andy was fairly straight-forward (as far as these things go). Andy herself was taken at p5 and presented no real probelm as she was totally focused on the Decoy. Her drop was colourful but useless.


    For times when I didn't feel up to playing in Hell, I've been moving Boner the Necromancer through Normal. He has now cleared Act 2 and reached level 28. 6pts CG, 5 pts SR and BW. 1pt in Curses, CE and prereqs. Once we got the Cube and reached lvl 23, we cubed up a Savage Lochaber Axe and swapped to a Prayer merc. This is massive overkill at this stage of the game.
     
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  20. Brak

    Brak Diabloii.Net Member

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    Congrats on getting through Act I!
    Tower is definitely the hardest point I've run into. Really afraid of the Act III temples after that experience.
     

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